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Precipitate birth

After going into labour, some women get to watch a sunrise. Some watch a movie or do seriously silly things like baking a birthday cake – on a real birth day. Some get to light a zillion candles or even get some sleep while they wait. Some get to have an epidural. Awesome.

Well, as mentioned in my birth story’s ‘main act’ (as per my previous post), I got to reach the hospital. In time to deliver baby. The end.

I suppose it doesn’t happen all the time that someone books an elective c-sec for her firstborn only to end up with two vaginal births, without as much as an epidural??

From what I’ve read, only about 2% of women get to experience ‘precipitate labour’, which means baby appears less than 2 hours after the contractions started.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I must say that this was a rather intense experience. If something that normally takes many hours to get done is crammed into 2 hours, it has its downside. It actually carries much more risk to mom and to baby than a ‘normal’ birth.

I was fortunate to only have a grade 1 tear (the same as with my girl’s delivery, whose birth story is here), but I doubt that my pelvic floor will ever regain its former glory. I’ve actually made an appointment with a gynae as I don’t feel fully recovered after the birth yet – and we’re nearly at the 4-month mark. I’m already back at my normal weight, so surely all should have been fine by now?

After my little girl’s birth, I could immediately get up and walk (as in even before the retained placenta was surgically removed). This time however, it took me hours to summon the strength to go take a shower. I was really sore for at least 2 weeks. I also had really hectic after pains.

After the delivery, the gynae mentioned that a colleague did a photography course 3 years earlier and that he used to say he wanted to be notified if anyone attended an exceptionally bloody birth. I didn’t ask why that thought popped into his head, but I can just imagine.

No-one is really sure why some women get to have such fast and furious births. In my case, maybe my ability to put my elbows on the floor like so might have something to do with it, yes?

Beautiful baby boy

As I waited outside the Clicks Clinic for my 2-week old boy to be weighed, I listened to the song playing in the store. “I’m falling in love all over again,” someone sang. How wonderfully appropriate it was I thought, as I sat there with my heart lying swaddled in a blue blankie on my lap.

When I compared baby photos, it was amazing to see how similar my girl looked as a baby. Here they are as newborns:


One of the delightful things about babies is that they can’t run and they can’t hide. Therefore, my little boy is such a sitting duck for all those kisses I love to plant on those chubby baby cheeks. 🙂

And so, this is where the story book would say: “Then they all lived happily ever after.”


Oh dear, has my blog been quiet?

Life happens while you’re making plans to blog about it..

It’s late and I should be off to bed. In another hour or so, my baby boy will wake up hungry. In a few more hours my little girl will wake up in a playful mood (if she sleeps through the night).

But first, I had to capture today’s (or by now really yesterday’s) afternoon. It gives a glimpse on my life now, here.


My little girl is sitting on the swing in our garden. She’s wearing her pretty new jeans. The legs are too long for her and I’ve folded them double at the bottom. Her one arm is holding on tightly to the soft toy duck on her lap. Her other arm is gesturing how high she wants me to push her. The slanted autumn sun snuggles idly against my back. The rays of the sun draw shadows on the wall of a little girl swinging up and down, up and down.

My baby boy lies next to the swing on the thick, green grass. His eyes follow two ring-necked doves as they rise from the thatched roof of the lapa to a tree. Above his head, green and gold leaves rustle in the afternoon breeze. The blue of the sky reflects in his eyes as he coos contentedly.

Later on, my little girl and I sit on the blanket next to our baby. I peel an orange for us while we wait for daddy to come home. My little girl feeds a juicy piece to her duck before she shoves a strip of orange peel under her brother’s nose. He flashes a delighted grin as his tiny nose detects the citrusy fragrance.

My girl pulls her sun hat with the pink flowers down over her eyes in a game of peek-a-boo. She ‘surprises’ me by attacking me from behind and clasp her arms around my shoulders. She runs like the wind towards the lapa to watch a nervous lizard scamper up the brick wall. Her daddy arrives and they kick her big plastic ball around on the grass.

When evening falls tonight, the blood red African sun will be setting on us here in this new town and on our new home – and on the picture of one perfect afternoon.


“Van al my liggeel dae
teken ek hierdie een op;
dat ek later kan weet hoe swerms
duiwe van die dakke waai,
en dat ek, as ek wil,
later kan lees van ‘n liggeel
dag en van jou hier langes my.”
~ Wilma Stockenstrom

Loosely translated:
“Of all my pale yellow days
I make a note of this one;
so that I’ll remember later on
how flocks of doves drift from rooftops
and so that I’d be able to, if I wanted,
read about a pale yellow day
and about you here beside me”


jy’s so lig en so lag
so giggeltjies en kielietjies
so dartelende skoenlapper-lappertjie

jy’s so lief en so lig
so feëtjies en fyntjies
so besige klein bytjie

met jou nuuskierige, ronde dimpeltjie-handjies
met die sagte veertjie-raampie om jou blinkoog gesiggie
met jou sleep-sleep kombersie-stertjie
met jou wippetie foppietjie soos ‘n veldmuisie se neusie

klein sterretjie
klein varkie parkie
pikkewyntjie
kaalvoetkleintjie

vir jou het ek so lief so lief

… watching a baby girl in a soft pink teddy bear babygro crawling around on the kitchen floor and playing with tupperware while you’re cooking dinner.

The quiet little cherub that was content to view the world from a particular spot on the bed or floor is now a distant memory. During shopping trips and outings, my little ‘babaliefie’ is now a squirming little octopus that’s magically able to reach far beyond what seems humanly possible.

At 9 months, my little fairy is already 75 cm long (as long as the average 13 month old baby girl), yet weighs in at a petite 8.3 kg. She loves her food and is also drinking 2 to 4 bottles a day. She seems happy, healthy and (if you ask me!) gorgeous.

She’s never slept well, but we’ve had an exceptionally trying month. Since breastfeeding came to a halt (due to the downward spiral of lack of demand and lack of supply), she started waking up at night and would simply fail to settle again, sometimes for as long as two or three hours! If I would turn on the light, she’d be so incredibly happy and excited to see me. Exasperated, I started giving her a bottle in the night and that seems the only way to get her asleep again. (She has NO teeth yet, so at least I’m not worried about the effect of this on her teeth..)

It’s also been harder to get her to fall asleep. Lately she pushes herself into sitting when I put her down in her cot at night – and then she just wants to play some more! I’ve come to view the time it takes to get her drowsy as our special time together though, so I don’t mind ‘working’ a bit to get her asleep.

I’ve been quiet lately as juggling motherhood, work and part-time studies is taking its toll. After a bad night, I sometimes feel as if I’m hanging onto sanity for dear life! DH is talking about ttc number two, I feel exhausted just thinking about that.

Still, I can never wait to pick up my ‘babaliefietjie’ from daycare in the afternoon. It’s my favourite moment of the day – seeing her little face again after all those long hours apart.

DH and I love her with wild abandon, this perfect, funny little angel of ours.

We took our ‘babaliefie’ camping in the Winterhoek mountains near Porterville last weekend.

I was a bit hesitant to go camping with a baby, but it was only for one night so I thought it couldn’t be too much of a disaster. It was DH’s birthday and I could see that he badly wanted to take his women camping.

It turned out she’s such a little trooper! She loved it and was as cheerful, happy and chatty as I’ve ever seen her. Friends that went with said they’ve never seen such a happy and content little baby.

Aah, and she’s so very cute.

Today my thoughts keep skipping back to this day last year.

As I left the FS’s office a year ago, those monthly disappointments were suddenly no longer just bad luck. It was called IF. I could no longer make myself believe that nothing was wrong. The FS’s scan and (invasive) exam gave away the endometrioma and other nodules that were most likely severe endo.

I went home to pack my hospital bag as we had scheduled the lap two days later. (In the hope of avoiding another horrible episode of ovarian torsion.) Would my hope of someday holding our baby remain a dream? There was no way of knowing.

Today I wonder whether I would have reached this current happy space if I started popping babies the moment I first thought I felt ready? Or what would have happened if I could have peeked at the happy ending of the chapter rather than having had to battle through those fears and the feelings of failure and loss?

Would I have been as grateful for the little blessing growing, kicking and hiccupping in my tummy? Would I have appreciated my wonderful DH as much? Would I have been as amazed at the wonder and fragility of a tiny new life?

Or would I (like my mom, I guess) possibly have viewed pregnancy and childbearing as little more than divine punishment for Eve’s mistakes?

I believe that there are journeys and nightmares in this life that could never make sense to us while we’re on this earth. Yet today, as I look back, I know that things have worked together for good – for me, my DH and my little ‘meisiekind’. I have such a grateful and humble heart.

As I look back at IF from the ‘other side’, one immense sadness remains: knowledge and understanding (at least to some extent, since I’ve ‘only’ had to walk the ttc road for 18 months) of the pain of those who are still waiting..

Beta = 39 = BFP!

So please, please, please beta 2#, if it’s not too much to ask..

It’s so very early still. I’m determined to only tell my family once we’ve seen a heartbeat on a scan. Hopefully just before Christmas!

So yes! Wow! How grateful and in awe could one person be!? Guilty, really, to receive such a blessing on petty IUI #2..

TBH, I’m feeling so emotional. I always thought that getting a BFP would turn one’s tears into joy. While true, I guess one could never forget what you’ve learned on such an incredibly hard journey.

Even if (by God’s grace) today’s happiness grows into a healthy LO, the tears, darkness, unfairness and humiliation of IF and ART will remain a memory etched in my mind.

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